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Don Storey Award

Emerson Hounsell: ‘rare bird from the rock’


March 24, 2008
By Canadian Vending

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Earlier this year, the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association
presented the annual Don Storey Award in Vancouver. This year’s
recipient, Emerson Hounsell, from Gander, Nfld., is a long-time member
of CAMA and the Canadian vending community.

Emerson Hounsell: ‘rare bird from the rock’

Earlier this year, the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association presented the annual Don Storey Award in Vancouver. This year’s recipient, Emerson Hounsell, from Gander, Nfld., is a long-time member of CAMA and the Canadian vending community.

Text of the presentation speech delivered by Sam Neill:Emerson has owned and operated his family-based wholesale business, established in 1959, since the early 1970s. He took over the primary responsibilities from his father, the late Donald Leslie Hounsell. The nature of his business has changed over time from the initial wholesale business servicing Gander and the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Today the business has shifted to being primarily vending-oriented.

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At its inception, this business connected with small local merchants, providing an invaluable service to otherwise isolated communities. Today, Emerson continues to thrive in the business community and is what some would call a “rare bird from the rock.” He has persevered and preserved this small business in spite of the inception of the box store and the challenges inherent to living and working on a small island on the coast.

Within the community, Emerson has dedicated endless hours to the promotion and enhancement of small business. He has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce on many levels and in numerous capacities over the past 20-plus years. He has served as president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the provincial Chamber of Commerce, and he has served on the board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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 Sam Neill, left, presents Emerson Hounsell with the 2007 Don Storey Award. Also attending the presentation was Marilyn Hounsell, right.

Emerson has also dedicated his time to other community-based organizations, having served on the board of school trustees and Gander Worldwide Inter-national. He also served on the board that established the Gander International Airport Authority. He currently sits on the board of the Golden Legion Manor, a local senior-based housing complex.

Emerson’s financial generosity to community and volunteer-based organizations is well recognized in his hometown, where he contributes regularly to local auctions and charitable events.

Business has been, and obviously continues to be, his passion and his first love is vending.

Emerson is past-president of CAMA, and served at least three terms as a regional director. He was always there to step back in and bring his wealth of knowledge to the board table.

Emerson held the position of national treasurer in the late 1990s, a time when CAMA was going through staffing and organizational changes. His sage advice and calming influence helped steer our ship back on course; and was a central part of many of CAMA’s lobby activities. Of course, we did have to pick up the tab for the three gallons of coffee he consumed before every breakfast meeting, the next three during the day, and then the two pots during happy hour.

For 37 years, he has been happily married to his wife Marilyn – a now-retired schoolteacher. They have two children, Susan and Robert, and Emerson is – and always has been – a true family man. His daughter, Susan, is a lawyer, and his
son, Robert, has been accepted into the Air Traffic Control program and will commence his training this year.

In his spare time – although we’re not sure when that is – he likes to sleep. Quite seriously, when Emerson is not moving, shaking or agitating, he simple sleeps. It matters not where or when – you must have been at some meeting where he’s nodded off ever so slightly, or slipped into a serious snore. His family members are often quite entertained by the positions in which he can doze, and how quickly he drifts off. It is not uncommon for Emerson to be mid-sentence and end his well-formulated and thought-out argument with a snore.

Although his wife is retired, Emerson shows no visible signs of joining this class of people, much to Marilyn’s chagrin.

Emerson is a dedicated businessman, volunteer, husband, father and grand-father. He is highly respected in his community by his peers and his family and is recognized and acknowledged by his colleagues and business associates
on a provincial and national level as a devoted contributor to small business and vending.


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